Review: The Mannish Boys – Wrapped Up And Ready

Posted on: Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014

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The Mannish Boys – Wrapped Up And Ready

(Delta Groove Music: DGPCD165)

The latest offering from label boss Randy Chortkoff’s Mannish Boys originally started  out with a very different plan from the star-studded previous releases . . . it was going to be a simpler, stripped-down affair . . . but as the CD notes say, “that plan went out the window on day one” . . . so over the generous 16 tracks a host of blues stars help out the core band, to fine effect as ever!

Produced by Chortkoff and Jeff Scott Fleenor “Wrapped Up And Ready” was recorded over just three days back in February this year in Torrance, California, with The Mannish Boys line-up being: Sugar Rayford (vocals), Randy Chortkoff (harmonica and vocals), Kirk Fletcher (guitars), Franck Goldwasser (guitars and vocals), Willie J. Campbell (bass) and Jimi Bott (drums) . . . one hell of a core band!

Hard to single out any particular track, but the guest contributions sparkle as ever, and the whole things sounds tremendous . . . the ‘norm’ for a Delta Groove release, and the music fairly blasts out of the speakers. A few standout guest appearances come from Candye Kane, with her guitarist Laura Chavez, on Ike Turner’s “I Idolise You”; and stunning guitar contributions from Steve Freund and Monster Mike Welch . . . who stars here with blistering playing on several tracks. Current UK visitor, guitarist Kirk Fletcher, is let off the leash on the closing “Blues For Michael Bloomfield” . . . which doesn’t overstay its welcome at 8:13.

Guest harmonica players feature as ever with the great Kim Wilson on three tracks; Bob Corritore appears on a Mike Welch tune “I Have Love”; with teenage player Jacob ‘Walters’ Huffman – a Chortkoff discovery – contributing to one track. It’s also superb to see the legendary Kid Ramos back after serious health issues – he lays down his obligatory powerful guitar on “Everything’s Alright” and “She Belongs To Me” . . . it’s brilliant to see him back!

A nice touch is the dedication to the late, great Nick Curran and a big dedication to the stricken original Mannish Boy, Finis Tasby . . . highly recommended for all lover of great blues, with a mix of orginal tunes from the musicians present and also some top handpicked covers versions.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.mannishboys.com

www.deltagroovemusic.com

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